Transposable Elements in Bats Show Differential Accumulation Patterns Determined by Class and Functionality
Paulat, Nicole S. (TTU)
Osmanski, Austin B. (TTU)
Moreno-Santillán, Diana D. (TTU)
Ray, David A. (TTU)
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Bat genomes are characterized by a diverse transposable element (TE) repertoire. In particular, the genomes of members of the family Vespertilionidae contain both active retrotransposons and active DNA transposons. Each TE type is characterized by a distinct pattern of accumulation over the past ~40 million years. Each also exhibits its own target site preferences (sometimes shared with other TEs) that impact where they are likely to insert when mobilizing. Therefore, bats provide a great resource for understanding the diversity of TE insertion patterns. To gain insight into how these diverse TEs impact genome structure, we performed comparative spatial analyses between different TE classes and genomic features, including genic regions and CpG islands. Our results showed a depletion of all TEs in the coding sequence and revealed patterns of species- and element-specific attraction in the transcript. Trends of attraction in the distance tests also suggested significant TE activity in regions adjacent to genes. In particular, the enrichment of small, non-autonomous TE insertions in introns and near coding regions supports the hypothesis that the genomic distribution of TEs is the product of a balance of the TE insertion preference in open chromatin regions and the purifying selection against TEs within genes.